Summer Camp 2023 Reading Challenge in The Ring of Fire and Dragons. | World Anvil

Summer Camp 2023 Reading Challenge

My Month at WA Summer Camp

I was actually surprised at how long it took me to get into my groove this year. For the first couple of weeks the only thing that saved me was the community stream with writing sprints (thanks Moro and Kat!!). I think this may be a predictable phase of world-building: after a few dozen articles, you have to start paying attention to continuity and connections; holes start opening up that need to be filled with people and details. It just gets more complicated. I feel like I've hit the "seven-year-itch" phase, where I'm tempted to ditch my first world and start over. But I'm going to push through and see what I can make of my fledgling world.

In terms of my other summer camp goals, well, CSS still remains a mystery to me. I guess having a learning goal is good. yay me.

At any rate, I finished strong, didn't peter out; got my 14 prompts submitted (even though some of them are really still first drafts).


The Reading Challenge

This year I've decided to focus on the prompts to which I didn't respond.  
Somewhere in your setting, describe (dot,dot,dot)

OPTIONAL: a species known for its mischievous personality

A total of 315 entries
How are you still alive
Species | Mar 7, 2024

A genetically modified platypus inexplicably thriving.

First of all, when I saw the title, I HAD to read this article. I wasn't sorry. The gene hackers, the possible quantum escape artist description, and obliviousness to danger. I'm here for it! I think what really makes the article work, though, is the tone of outrage, especially the comment: "..Though these platypi are banned on more sane planets..." Funny, and omg, I WANT ONE.
Pact Demons
Species | Jul 29, 2023
What drew me to this article was that it is a somewhat different take on the prompt. I don't think many would describe this creature as "mischievous" but it works as a response because the narrator/character views them as such. Dark and oh so deliciously blase about the whole demon thing.
The Alehouse Drake
Species | Jul 23, 2023
I really fell in love with this critter. I think my favorite part is the various ways in which different drakes interact with the clients. Especially when you're dealing with the consumption of alcohol, there are so many opportunities for shenanigans. I need more dragon-related critters in my world. Alehouse Drakes (with attribution) will be a great addition!
Somewhere in your setting, describe (Dot, dot, dot)

an item of great cultural or religious significance to a people in your world

A total of 250 entries  
The Sacred Spud
Item | Jul 30, 2023

Within a realm steeped in mystique, Halflings find profound devotion in an unlikely source - potatoes. Unearth the secrets behind their sacred spuds, a tapestry of wonder and mystery.

The first thing I love about this article is its originality. You've taken a very humble thing and elevated it to a significant cultural touchstone. Even without the images (which, by the way, I love. So envious of folks who have mastered midjourney), the elaboration on myth and ritual really allow me to understand why this root vegetable has such a importance to halflings.
The Hearth Stool
Item | Jul 24, 2023
This article stood out to me as an item that seems humble, but has significant cultural value. I can imagine many other stories turning on the use of the Hearth Stool. Mysteries... stories of diplomacy between dwarves and other peoples, ...stories of sabotaging the magics placed on the stool... In particular, what happens at a clanhold that abandons the practice (perhaps it had been abused so often for petty issues that everyone got fed up with the wasted time). Or maybe there's a process for censuring someone who abuses the privilege? Or maybe a children's tale something along the lines of the boy who cried "wolf"?
Mega Coprolite
Item | Feb 2, 2024

I genuinely don't get why we have this, but we do and it's right at the entrance to the zoo.

Continuing on the theme of unusual items to promote... fossilized poo. I just adore this style of humor. Just the thought of staff kissing the "statue," possibly years after Roxy and Dave are gone, is great. I can just imagine a little Temperilian tyke asking, in a really loud stage whisper "Mommy, why is that man kissing a pile of poo?"
Somewhere in your setting, describe dot... dot... dot

a profession that has been rendered obsolete

A total of 189 entries
Profession | Jul 30, 2023
You know, this prompt really stumped me, but I guess that's the nature of obsolete things isn't it. They get forgotten and overlooked. I was initially attracted by the unusual word choice in the name of the profession. And it works so well, i especially think goblins would use that term. The tie in with the development of language and cultural identity gave it a full-circle sort of feel.
When Life Gives you Lemons, Kill the Lemon Tree
Profession | Aug 28, 2023
Ah, nothing like unintended consequences and worker displacement to fuel conflict. This is an issue that is easily overlooked. I expect that this world is about to start developing a rift between magic users and the working class. I also like how the writer has used dialogue to "show" rather than "tell" - very effective!
Profession | Aug 1, 2023

Many believe that such a profession has been lost to time, the evolution of magic & other abilities causing little need for a job often called “simple.” Little is simple about being a Tamer, no amount of Blue Magic or Druidic ties will grant the relations

I enjoyed this article, short as it was. I can imagine a really interesting PC coming from this tradition. There must be some situations where heart and deep knowledge trumps efficiency, right? At least, that is one of my favorite themes in fantasy. Also, I respect Riverfang for submitting this without the visuals (theirs are always wonderful). They don't have to do that, but I feel like it levels the playing field a bit in this kind of competition.
What I have learned this summer:
  • Story and/or poetry are alwyas more effective than telling. Try to write at least 10% of the article as dialogue, opinion, or narration of a scene.
  • Write about the thing that is overlooked by most. Especially daily-life objects that get a lot of interaction over time.
  • When you're stumped, check out the thesaurus for synonyms of the key words.
  • Unexpected titles grab my attention. I have permission to do the same.


Please Login in order to comment!
Aug 2, 2023 23:17 by Mochi

Thank you so much for including me in this list! <33

I hope you have a great day!   Explore the endless planets brimming with life of the Yonderverse! Go after creatures, discover new places, and learn about the people you find along the way.   Consider voting for me in the Worldbuilding Awards!
Aug 26, 2023 22:41 by Rin Garnett

Thank you for the feature, and congrats on getting those 14 prompts done! I love your upcoming goals, too. The 10% marker is a great way to balance things out, and writing about what gets overlooked sounds like it could make for fascinating articles.   Best of luck going forward!